I often feel sick lately, and I am pretty sure that I have some systemic inflammation going on. How can I know if it is the food I am eating that is making me feel this way?
I’m going to explain how foods can lead to issues anywhere and everywhere in the body. It is easy to tell when a specific food—ice cream let’s say—leads to digestive symptoms like bloating and gas within an hour or two of eating it. Or when a peanut causes anaphylactic shock and a trip to the emergency room. But often our unrecognized responses to foods tend to come in the form of delayed inflammatory reactions.
It’s not so easy to figure out which foods are causing delayed reactions, especially when they cause symptoms in locations other than in the digestive tract, and when those symptoms are experienced every day. The food reactions begin to look like our normal way of feeling, or we may think of it as part of aging. But I say you deserve to feel good every day, so it’s well worth it to track down those specific delayed reactions and choose different foods in order to feel your best.
Symptoms from delayed reactions to foods can be anything from fatigue to low mood, bloating, weight gain, joint pain, frequent infections, and decreased focus. Are you wondering how you can start crossing off the symptoms on your list?
Step 1: Get an IgG food intolerance panel done
Getting an IgG food intolerance panel done is an important first step. If you’ve already done one, it may be time for a recheck if you’ve been avoiding your reactive foods for a while.
There are many ways to check for food reactions now. Some cost over $1,000, and some check every type of immune response to food. I find that the most cost-effective and health-efficient way to figure out which foods to cut is with an IgG food panel because it identifies those delayed reactions to food.
IgG stands for “immunoglobulin G.” IgG is one of the antibodies that our bodies produce in response to “foreign invaders” like viruses and bacteria as well as any food that sneaks past the intestinal lining. The key is that IgG is produced two hours to several days after exposure, so it signifies your specific delayed reactions to food.
And just like an infection, IgG antibodies lead to inflammation that can spread throughout the body to where you are susceptible. For one person that might be the sinuses, for another it might be the bladder or joints.
You can do an IgG panel with a finger poke and a few drops of blood sent to a lab that specializes in identifying the way the IgG antibodies respond to 96 different foods.
Step 2: Eliminate the foods that have the highest IgG reactions
I designed the Hamptons Cleanse to help guide people to a new way of eating. It can also be helpful for those of you who’ve already been avoiding reactive foods but maybe got a little off track during the holidays, or who just need to freshen up.
If you have already eliminated lactose and had an allergist check for the immediate response IgE reactions to food—and even if you’ve tested negative for celiac disease—it may still be food issues that are making you feel sick and tired. Finding out your IgG reactions to food will give you the information you need for choosing foods that don’t trigger a whole body inflammatory response. These will be the foods that allow your body to heal.
Though the IgG panel is not considered diagnostic and is not covered by insurance, over the past 13 years of helping people feel better (including myself), I’ve found it to be a key factor in turning un-wellness into wellness.
Donielle Wilson, ND, CPM, is a graduate of Bastyr University and specializes in women’s health issues, specifically menopause, natural hormones, and integrative gynecology. A popular speaker and author, she is also the creator of the Hamptons Cleanse. You can visit her online at doctordoni.com.